Wisteria on a Pergola: A Guide

wisteria on a pergola

There’s something truly enchanting about a pergola adorned with blooming wisteria. This stunning climber, with its cascading clusters of purple or white flowers, adds a sense of timeless elegance to any garden. Join us as we explore the art of growing wisteria on a pergola, sharing key insights and answering some commonly asked questions.

Wisteria: An Overview

Native to the eastern United States, China, Korea, and Japan, wisteria is a vigorous climber loved for its beautifully scented, pendulous blooms. While its charm is undeniable, growing wisteria requires a bit of patience and care. Two of the most popular varieties are the Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) and the Japanese wisteria (Wisteria floribunda).

Growing Guide: Cultivating Wisteria on a Pergola

Choosing Your Wisteria

Choose a grafted plant for quicker blooms. While it’s possible to grow wisteria from seed, these plants may take up to 15 years to flower.

Preparing Your Pergola

Ensure your pergola is sturdy, as wisteria can become quite heavy. It’s also wise to install it close to the pergola’s posts to support its growth.

Planting Your Wisteria

Plant your wisteria in well-drained soil and a sunny position, preferably with the base in the shade. Dig a hole twice as wide as the roots, and add compost or well-rotted manure before planting.

Training Your Wisteria

In the first few years, guide the wisteria’s growth to ensure it covers the pergola evenly. Use soft ties to secure it, removing or loosening them as the plant grows.

Top Tips for Thriving Wisteria on a Pergola


Regular pruning keeps wisteria under control and encourages better flowering. Prune in late winter to remove unwanted growth and again in summer to extend the branches.

Feeding Your Wisteria

Feed your wisteria with a high-potash fertiliser in spring to encourage blooming. Avoid high-nitrogen fertilisers, as these can promote leafy growth at the expense of flowers.


Water young wisteria regularly. Once established, wisteria can tolerate dry periods, but will appreciate a drink in prolonged dry spells.

Frequently Asked Questions about Wisteria on a Pergola

When will my wisteria bloom?

Wisteria typically blooms in late spring to early summer. However, young wisteria or those grown from seed may take several years to start flowering.

How can I get my wisteria to bloom?

Regular pruning and correct feeding can promote blooming. Also, ensure the plant gets plenty of sun.

Can I grow wisteria in a pot on a pergola?

Yes, but keep in mind that Wisteria is a vigorous grower and will need a large pot, regular pruning and additional care to thrive.


Growing Wisteria on a pergola is a gardening venture that rewards patience and dedication with breathtaking beauty. While it may take time to establish, the spectacle of your pergola draped in wisteria’s floral elegance is a sight to behold.